I don't like pie.
I just don't! I have yet to meet a crust that lures me in. I do love fruit, but if you're going to splurge on dessert, make it count with chocolate, caramel, and/or peanut butter.
(When I say and/or, I really mean 'and'.)
But my Grandma Moon (I promise my other Grandma was an excellent cook too, I actually want to post her cheesecake recipe soon!) makes the only pie I look forward to.
This isn't your grab-a-can-of-cherry-pie-filling-and-slop-it-in-a-pan cherry pie, this is the next level. She made this every Thanksgiving and it's insta-nostalgia for me. Every time I make this, people ask for the recipe. The ingredients list is so simple, but it's so much better than your average cherry pie. I've done my own pie crust once, but I usually stick to the pre-made dough. We have one here on the blog that would give it an extra handmade touch here.
1/2 c cherry juice (from can or jar of cherries)
1/2 c sugar
3 T flour
1/8 t salt
2 T butter
2 c pitted cherries
2 pie crusts
coarse decorating sugar
heavy whipping cream
sugar to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Start out with your crust and place it in your pie pan. Don't worry too much about making the crust pretty, wait until you put the lattice topping on. This recipe is not for a deep dish pie pan. If you have a deep dish pie pan, you're going to want to 1 1/2 this recipe. This is what I did here, but the posted recipe is for a non-deep-dish pie pan.
Make the cherry filling. I love this stuff. I lick the spoon clean, and usually run my finger along the pan once it's cooled to lick all of that too.
Combine the cherry juice (from your can or jar of pitted cherries), sugar, flour, and salt. Yes, the flour will be clumpy and this goes against everything we believe in about adding flour to liquids, but use a whisk and the clumps will eventually disappear. Simmer for a minute or two until slightly thickened, then remove from heat. Add in the butter and stir until melted in.
Dump cherries into pie crust, then pour cherry juice mixture over cherries.
Now for the lattice crust, you MUST make a lattice crust.
Lattice crust and cherry pie are absolutely synonymous!
And you have to buy a pastry cutter to get the cute serrated edges. I would have like a scalloped one, but this one is cute too. Before I cut the strips, I sprinkle coarse decorating sugar all over both sides of the crust. You can use fine, regular sugar too, but I think the coarse is aesthetically interesting.
After you've sugared your crust, cut it into strips.
The first time I latticed a pie crust, I just started laying all of the layers one direction, then did all the others on top. That didn't work, it wasn't truly latticed! I believe I've said 'lattice' more times (in my head of course) in the last 2 minutes than I have in my whole entire life.
Lattice lattice lattice.
SO, to truly lattice, you alternate directions and weave. Weaving is the key. You start with the longest strips in the middle of your pie crust in one direction. Then grab the second longest strip and twist it in the other direction so they form an 'X'. Whatever you do, make sure you do the opposite of what you've just done: if you just went over a strip, make sure you go under the next one. And twist as you go!
Up to this point, you've just let the ends of the strips hang off the edges of the pie pan. Snip the hanging edges off, and work the ends into the perimeter.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes. If the top is starting to brown too much, you can tent some foil very loosely over the pie while it finishes. Set on cooling rack to cool completely.
Whipping cream or ice cream is a must. I'm from the South where we eat Bluebell Homemade Vanilla with our pie. I use whipping cream out here because other brands of vanilla just don't do it for me. Trust me, once you go Bluebell, you just don't mess around.
For the whipped cream, a cold bowl is optimal, but not necessary. Start beating the cream, and as it thickens, add sugar to taste. A rule of thumb is start out with 2 T per cup of cream, and add more as you'd like.The cherry pie isn't extremely sweet, so a sweet cream would compliment it nicely. My favorite is to add a couple drops of almond extract to the cream, especially with this pie. The cherry and almond combination is heaven-sent.